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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  June 20, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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tonight on "world news," broiling heat. 50 million americans under extreme heat warnings. schools closed down. crops wilt. and zoo animals are trying to stay cool. power play. the president in a duel with congress. a showon over the government's fast and furious program. drinking while pregnant? a new study creates a giant argument about whether pregnant moms can drink after all. and the inheritance. prince william 2ur7b turns 30 a sevens a final gift from his mother, diana. good evening. 50 million americans began this
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first day of summer sweltering. as of tonight, 12 states have been issued an extreme heat warning. records already shattered from the midwest to the northeast. and take a look at the rising thermometer that says it all. states from maryland to maine saw the temperature climb 20 degrees in 24 hours. our extreme weather team is fanned out across this country and abc's weather editor sam champion starts us off right now. sam? >> reporter: good evening, diane. the national weather service has already determined this has been the warmest spring on record. and tonight, it's ending with a super sizzle. scorching near triple digit temperatures baking much of the nation as spring ends. neat advisories out in major eastern metropolitan areas where people are grasping at any way to keep cool. in new york, emergency cooling shelters scrambled to open. while at a high school graduation in new jersey, family members were rushed to the
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hospital, suffering from heat exhaustion. new york mayor bloomberg urging people to check on friends and family. >> check on your neighbors, especially seniors and those who have chronic health conditions or special needs. make sure they are drinking water and staying cool. >> reporter: looking west to illinois, this early, they're already seeing the most 90 degree-plus days in 35 years. roads are buckling under the baking sun in the midwest, as farmers across that region are terrified this heat will devastate their crops. our alec perez is in illinois with one anxious farmer. >> that's right. it's a steamy 93 degrees here in lafox, illinois. farmers here and in the corn belt states across the country are dealing with the same problems. excessive heat, not enough run. they say it can be devastating in some areas. look at this corn. it's only about a foot high but get this. at this point of the year, it's supposed to be waist high. >> reporter: from the midwest to the nation's capital, where it was the hottest day all year so
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far, abc's ginger zeis at the national zoo, where they are desperately trying to keep their animals cool and safe. >> it is already a sultry 97 degrees, we've been watching it all dale here in washington, d.c. and get this. here at the zoo, the man malls that naturally live in sweltering conditions, well, they are just as hot as we are. why? they weren't born there, they were born here in d.c. to stay cool, this tiger gets meat-flavored popsicles. it encouraging them to get into the water and the ice comes them down. that elephant is picking up dirt, throwing it on himself because that acts as a natural sun screen. >> reporter: these are the unbelievable heat index levels for the mid atlantic and the northeast again tomorrow. and that's no mistake. this is the way the heat and humidity combination feels to you when you walk outside at 105 in philly and 105 in boston, diane. >> it was some day today. sam, getting better or worse this weekend?
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>> reporter: well, for some places, like the midwest and the northeast, it gets better by the end of the week, but the south and the southwest continues to sizzle over the weekend. denial verve and dallas will get back to 100 degrees by the time we get there. >> sam champion in a steamy new york tonight. and not only are we watching the crushing heat and the deluge in duluth, minnesota. nine inches of rain wreaking havoc. cars stranded on roads turned into rivers, swallowed up by sink holes. residents kayaking down the street. spontaneous geysers rushing past porches, and now more rain and another storm front on the way there. we turn next to the political storm that erupted today over an untsdercover government operation gone very wrong. it is called fast and furious. it was supposed to help in the crackdown on drug violence across the border in mexico. bull the operation was botched,
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t a u.s. law enforcement agent killed and congress saying the obama administration is trying to cover it up. today, the president himself stepped in. here's abc's jake tapper. >> reporter: president obama today for the first time asserted executive privilege to shield justice department documents dealing with what's become known as the "fast and furious" scandal. the response from the white house republicans were itself last and furious. >> the lack of transparency with respect to a dead border patrol agent is sickening, and this morning's threat of asserting executive privilege to maintain the veil of secrecy is even more sickening. >> reporter: fast and furious began almost three years a. the secret law enforcement program allowed centimeters to buy guns so government agents could trace them to mexican drug cartels. but blowback came and it was tragic. the government lost track of hundreds of guns, which started showing up at crime scenes. including the site where us border agent brian terry was murdered in december 2010. initially the justice department
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told congress that they did not allow guns to flow into mexico, but that was false, and months later, they took it back. the program was disbanded and disowned. attorney general eric hold earl has always denied knowing anything about the program, but for more than a year, house republicans have been pushing him to disclose what he and other officials knew and when they knew it. >> mr. attorney general, you're not a good witness. >> reporter: democrats have called this a partisan witch hunt. >> have you no shame? >> reporter: pressure grew. this is a big scandal. >> people who have screwed up will be held accountable. >> reporter: one official resigned, another was demoted. but though holder has turned over thousands of documents, he's refusing to turn over additional ones republicans call key to whether the justice department tried to cover up its involvement. >> there are some things in there that's been hidden that you don't want us to see. >> there's no attempt at any kind of cover-up. we're not going to be hiding behind any kind of privileges or anything. >> reporter: but diane, now they are hiding behind executive
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bridge. the president invoking it, saying he wants members of his administration to be able to have conversations without congress snooping around in their e-mail. >> so, jake, what is the next step in this duel? >> reporter: well, next week, the full congress will vote, the full house will vote, expected largely on party lines, to hold the attorney general in contempt of congress. the u.s. will go to the u.s. attorney for the district of columbia and he will investigate. of course, the case could vanish there altogether. >> all of this heating up. thank you so much, jake. and now, we turn to jobs and the economy and fed chairman ben bernanke, who announced today that the fed will keep long-term interest rates low, at least through the end of the year. he also delivered a slightly more pessimistic prediction for unemployment, saying it would stay about the same between 8% and 8.2% through the end of the year. and he characterized the economic recovery as, quote,
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moderate. overseas now to equip. last night, we told you about the strongman, hosni mubarak, who ruled egypt for 30 years, pronounced clinically dead. tonight, conflicting reports about his health. he is now said to be in critical condition. and tahrir square, where hundreds of thousands gathered 24 hours ago, tonight, has begun to fill up again, reacting to a plea from the muslim brotherhood, which called on egyptians to take to the streets again, after word today that the final count in the historic presidential election has been delayed. and, back here at home, a surprising turn in the jerry sandusky trial. the defense rested today and abruptly. the former football coach did not take the stand in his own defense. so, what happened? abc's senior national correspondent jim avila takes us behind the scenes. >> reporter: jerry sandusky's attorneys can't say why their client won't testify.
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>> i can't comment. there's still a gag order. >> reporter: but sources tell abc news the decision to keep him off the witness stand was made at the literal last minute when during a courtroom break sandusky and his two attorneys moved to a back room, where sandusky pushed hard to look into the eyes of the jurors and say, "i'm innocent." but he was overruled by his own lawyers. who now believe his wife, dottie's testimony yesterday, and newly released evidence that police arguably guided accusers to improve on their original stories, has finally left an opening for acquittal, would the risky move of having the defendant testify. too many things could go wrong, we were told, as demonstrated in sandusky's media interviews. this one, with "the new york times." >> if i say, no, i'm not attracted to boys, that's not the truth, because i'm attracted to young people, boys, girls. >> reporter: to make sure san duls can i was truly on board,
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sources confirmed to abc news the judge called the defendant into claim americans, where his right to testify was explained again. there, sandusky agreed not to take the stand in front of attorneys from both sides and on the record in front of the judge. >> you know, it's very difficult decision for a lawyer. and what happens if you lose, you know, the clients says, gee, if i only could have told mill story, maybe this wouldn't have happened. >> reporter: if convicted, sandusky would have a th theoretical 500 years in jail to contemplate that quick decision made today. the jury gets the case tomorrow after closing arguments. diane? >> all right, jim, thank you. and now, we have a consumer watchdog report on something very close at hand, your purse. tonight, we have learned that the center for environmental health tested purlss in retail stores and found many of them contained more lead than purse makers themselves had agreed to. lead is linked to heart and
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brain problems in long-term and large doses, so, no one wants to be exposed unaware. and abc's elisabeth leamy has this abc news exclusive. >> reporter: this test reveals a woman's constant companion, her purse, contains potentially harmful led. the center for environmental led found lead in 43 of the 300 purses tested in a lab, even though hundreds of handbag manufacturers have signed an agreement to limit the lead in their products. >> lead is a stunningly toxic metal. >> reporter: the concern? lead can rub off of products like purses and get into the body of a woman of her children. >> we find it really distressing that some of these companies had this problem. >> reporter: these are the five purses that contained the most lead, made by guess, house of harlow, nine west and charlotte russe. the tory burch purse contained 580 times the amount of lead
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allowed in toys. of course, though, toys are handled differently. >> this is one of the highest levels of lead we've ever found in a consumer product. >> reporter: we got tory burch herself on the phone to ask about her findings. your purse had the highest lead level in this test of nearly 300 purses and i'm just wondering, what's your response? burch told us she was apalled and we have strict testing prot calls and are doing a full investigation. nine west said it pulled the product in get from all stores. how do you protect yourself? the center for environmental health says brightly colored purlss made of plastic or viable are the most likely to contain lead. you can choose leather or fabric, instead, to have a letter chance that all you're carrying is your purse. elisabeth leamy, abc news, washington. >> like we said, a big, new report out tonight. and coming up, what goes through your mind when you see a pregnant woman drinking? tonight, a new study, a bombshell, that challenges what everyone thinks.
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it said eight drinks a week may not be a problem. it started a big argument, and here's abc's amy roe batch. >> down the hatch. >> reporter: it's an uncomfortable scene -- watching a pregnant woman drink in a bar. >> when you get a chance, i'll take a tequila. >> reporter: this woman is an actress, playing a part for abc's "what would you do?" with john quinones. she east not really pregnant. just pretending to be. and it looks like she's drinking hard alcohol, heavily. the reaction is fierce. >> the pregnant lady on the corner drinking? that's crazy. >> reporter: since the 1970s, we're told pregnancy and alcohol don't mix. but today, a new study reveals drinking in moderation while pregnant may not be harmful. it looked at more than 1,600 pregnant women who drank one to eight drinks a week. five years later, their children did not perform any worse on organizational and iq testst than children whose mothers didn't drink during their pregnant sips. and surprisingly, occasional
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binge drinking, five or more drinks in one sitting, also did not have any significant negative effect. moms have been buzzing about the study online, most wondering why take the chance? on parenting blog, "is having a drink really that important to you?" but other mothers were relieved. >> it's reassuring. it's good news. >> reporter: katherine donaldson evans lightly drank during her pregnancy. why risk it? >> i enjoy the occasional glass of wine. i don't think that it's a big risk. >> reporter: science has shown that heavy drinking can harm fetal development and doctors we spoke with said even moderate drinking is not advisable. some, like dr. jennifer ashton say, better safe than sorry. >> we do know that alcohol is a toxin and definitely can effect neu neurologic development. my answer is, don't consume any alcohol at all for the 40 weeks that you're pregnant. >> reporter: we do know that pregnant women drink. studies show that up to 30% of
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women will use alcohol at some point during their pregnancy. >> let's go over again what they say is safe, in the study, which will be beaten up on by a lot of people. and when they say, even in the study, that you're in trouble. >> reporter: this new study says that if you have nine drinks or more per week while you're pregnant, it does cause lowered attention spans in children. and we know from other stud dips that heavy constant drinking leads to birth defects and fetal alcohol syndrome, as well. obviously a lot of tern out there. >> they acknowledge at some point you get in trouble. >> reporter: yeah. >> okay, thank you, amy. and coming up here, a ticket and a dream. meet the quaker oats plant worker who hit it big with his 20 friends and one $240 million ticket.
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water. >> this is fishing vessel sky lark. we have an on board emergency. we are taking on water, sir. >> the coast guard thinks the similarity of the language may link the two incidents. they are offering a reward for information. and tonight, help for patients trying to decide which hospital is the best. 100,000 americans die every year because of hospital problems that include infection and medical errors. well, the leapfrog group has now ranked each state by hospital safety, based on the grade given to individual hospitals. the top state, overall, massachusetts, then vermont, illinois, tennessee. and i skipped maine there, maine is in second. so, go online if you want to see where your state ranks and look at the grade given to the individual hospitals near you. and years of buying lottery tickets finally paid off for 20
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workers in the shipping department at a quaker oats cereal plant in iowa. today, they claimed a $241 million power ball jackpot, which works out to $5.6 million per person, after taxes. for 15 years, the group bought tickets together but never came close to winning. only half of them say they're going to retire. coming up, a 30th birthday gift for prince william. a final gift coming to him from his mother, diana. it's your teenager's first varsity game. it isn't just your annual exam. it's your daughter's wedding. did you know with your health insurance you may now have some preventive benefits with no co-pays or out-of-pocket costs? it isn't just your cholesterol screening. it's all the tomorrows you're looking forward to. learn more at
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those years ago. well, he is now about to get a final gift from his mom. abc's lama hasan is in london. >> reporter: what do you get the man who will one day become k g king? no word what he'll get from his wife kate. but we do know he'll get a very special gift from his mother, diana. $14 million, that she left to her son in her will. not to be given to him until his 30th. money from her estate, stocks and shares, jewelry and cash. held in a trust to be shared equally between her two sons. >> don't expect his life to change. yes, that's a big chunk of money, but almowilliam lives ofs raf salary and we're not going to see anything grand and over the top. >> reporter: yes, william makes about $70,000 a year from his air force job. but being a royal today means serious business. real estate. everyone knows the queen has this little 900-year-old castle,
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but what you might not know is just a stone's throw away, the royals are even the land lords of this drive through mcdonald's. they own shopping districts, parks, even wind farms. how much money do they make from all of this? well, that's a royal secret. but we do know the queen herself makes $23 million a year, for attending all those official events. so, money aside, it promises to be a most happy birthday for william. the royal that seems to have it all, except for a baby -- yet. lama hasan, abc news, london. >> and we're so glad you were watching tonight. we'll see you right back here again tomorrow. [ banker ] mike and brenda found a house that they really wanted.
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